TREE REPORT by Dean White (More pictures to be added soon!!!)
Deforestation is a big problem in Africa. What can we do to make a difference, and inspire others to do the same?
These are baskets and a bag of tree seeds. The upper bag was shipped from a tree project in Tabora which I started with a friend named Daniel Mayunga, (see other website http://www.sunuser.net/ ) and these in the lower baskets came from a small workgroup, and tree project which I helped to start in the village of ILKILORIT where our family has been living in Arusha.
One tree cutter, who is a friend of ours in this village, and member of our church, needed funds to help send his children to school and to feed his family, because in the wet season he had stopped cutting trees. The tree cutter was able to earn a few thousand T-shillings for each box of seedlings which he found, and for bags of seeds which he gathered from local, and indigenous species of trees. I coached him on the possibility of working with seeds and seedlings instead of cutting trees. He caught on to the idea, and I then became his best, and first customer.
As a representive of ISM's Tree Club, I encouraged him to partner with me on behalf of that club, and to gather as many seedlings as possible. We decided to gather them and plant them in a box that was lined with a large plastic bag, This man, named Satieli, partnered with another young man named, Seuli, to begin this project together. Mr. Satieli gathered support from youth in the community. They also gathered several buckets of seeds which were later dried out and put in storage for later projects in the village!
In our project, the seeds were brought in wet and eventually dried to a low moisture rate in the hot African sun on the bricks in our yard. The seed project will be used in the village, as Seuli, experiments with seedbeds, and water projects, and as the dry season approaches. One of the new goals of this tree group is to buy a small, foot powered, hydraulic pump to water the plants from a local vein of water in our village.
Today we brought these trees to school at ISM during club. They all will be sold and distributed throughout the community by parents and friends of ISM. The ECA club attached signs on the trees and many people saw them as they were displayed throughout the front and center courtyard of the school. (In the backgrounds of the pictures you will see many trees on the campus. Many of those trees were planted by students years ago when the new ISM campus was started here in Arusha.)
This has been a successful and invigorating project! Today was our capstone project with the students. Some special leaders of the village had came yesterday to visit with me and to see the project. The village Chairmen came along with the Mtendaji and one of their council members to visit the tree project in our home. Mr. Wilson Shange is the Village Chairman and he is also the founder and director of the Sotwa Wilson School, a nursery, primary, and English medium school in our village of Ilkilorit. He encouraged us greatly by his visit with his friends from the village committee. We began to see some the many opportunities which might build cooperation with our village and with schools such as ISM!
This was alot of fun, and as I was directing this afterschool event this term, I remembered HOW MUCH FUN, that I had when I was a full-time teacher back home in my home state of North Carolina. It has been a great time. The ECA children did a great job, as well as the small group of girls in the classroom who have made this project successful by their encouragement, tree research, suppport, and class projects!
One of the most encouraging things that happened, I must say, was at the end of the day, when a group of students, listened to a presentation about this campus project. One student Thomas expressed interest. So now with the help of his friends, other students and his mother, (who just happens to be on the parent tree committee and garden club and is a expert on Trees inEast Africa,) have decided to help carry this ECA into the future. THIS IS GREAT NEWS to me.
IDEAS FOR MORE TREE PROJECTS AND COMMUNITY LEARNING PROJECTS
- Charles Schofield has been interested in helping with a TREE FRISBEE GOLF COURSE
- Ms. Wood said that she will help with the projects next year in some way!
- People shoud do school research and learn about some of the TREE RESOURCE CD'SThese need to be copied, studied, used and reproduced.
- There is an incredible amount of online resources, and specifically, a website that has catalogue Tanzania's indigenous species, which needs to be studied and possibly made into a Swahili field manuel. Its currently in English, and because this school, and its students know English, then they may "tap into" and rapidly "transfer" those resources into the hands of those Tanzanians and East Africans who need them.
- The students may do model projects and distill the information into various pamphlets and learning tools that could be exported into the community!
- A number of teachers liked the possibility of integrating a campus - wide community tree project, and some of its goals into their classroom curriculum. The PYP and MYP curriculu and IB curriculum needs to be explored and then one might see how to integrate classroom and community learning projects together. There are alot of interesting possibilities for this.
- The project has sparked interest of students of all ages. I hope that many will use the ECA and other classroom, afterschool projects as a way to contribute and HAVE FUN!
- Many other ideas have been mentioned by the parents group who started this, and later introduced to students, faculty and administration.
Thanks ISM, I pray and hope that you all can achieve many goals, and be a model for other schools in community development service and projects!
My family and I will miss you all!